I spend a lot of time out on Long Island in the summer, in a house I share with my siblings, and I think something about the communality of it all—as well as all that amazing local produce— brings out the (way) repressed Lifestyle Queen in me. All I want to do is make Burata cheese and heirloom tomato salads (and I am a complete pain in the ass about which farm stand those tomatoes must come from); and fingerling potato, garlic and chive salad. I want to steam endless ears of corn; to bake a thousand blueberry crisps; to grill eggplant until the cows come home. Reader, on Long Island in the summer I have made granola from scratch.
One of the less pastoral, but equally satisfying, pleasures of being out on Long Island are my occasional visits to the local K-Mart. Technically, Manhattan has a K-Mart, but I never go there and don’t consider it the real thing, because real K-Marts must have giant parking lots with extra-big shopping carts outside, roomy aisles inside, and camping departments and so on. (Similarly, I do not feel satisfied that the Atlantic Terminal Target in Brooklyn is a real Target. I grew up in the suburbs. I’m a purist.)
My first stop is always the Land’s End department—for one thing, it’s exactly front and center at this particular store. But also because I bought some bath towels there a few years ago, and they’re so good that I can’t imagine why I’d pay for fancier ones anywhere else ever again.
I always feel a powerful pull to the kitchen appliances at K Mart, every single time. I like to see who they’ve got their collaborations going with. I wasn’t crazy about much in the Sandra Lee collection, but I have to say, although I have never been particularly drawn to the man himself, I do think Gordon Ramsay’s line is pretty decent. This is a rather handsome stainless steel chef’s pan, don’t you think? For$27.99?
Likewise, I thought this 16-piece dinnerware set with the nifty red stripes was rather winning. Still, none of these things were on my list today; my purpose on this visit was to stock up on household necessities—big-ass bottles of Tide, 12-packs of paper towels, and so on—and get out of Dodge. Because no matter how enjoyable any visit to K Mart is, one must never overstay one’s welcome.
As far as shopping for cute clothes and stuff goes, I haven’t really bought much out in the country this summer. EXCEPT for this:
I bought a maxidress. A maxidress not at all unlike the ones I have railed against on this very blog as being universally unflattering. The pretty ethnic print is what sucked me in, of course. But it’s also made of the lightest, floatiest cotton imaginable. It’s impossible to feel hot and sticky when you’re wearing it. I’m almost certain that it makes me look huge, and that it directs all sorts of attention to my less-than-toned arms. But honestly, in this heat, I do not care.